Barkley L. Hendricks – A Pioneer of Black Portraiture

Contemporary American art is full of exquisite artworks and talented artists who have made a great impact on our culture. Larry Poons, George Condo, and Lisa Yuskavage are just a few notable names on this list. There are also American artists who have revolutionized contemporary art, and Barkley L. Hendricks is one of them. This amazing painter was a pioneer of black portraiture, whose post-modern depictions of stylish black subjects are now being sold for millions of dollars.

Barkley L. Hendricks

Barkley L. Hendricks (1945 – 2017) is, without a doubt, one of the most influential artists of the late 20th century. He is often called the pioneer of black portraiture due to his many beautiful photographs and vivid, life-sized paintings of urban black men and women depicted with an unprecedented degree of self-assertiveness, autonomy, and regality.

Hendricks’ works are unique. They are distinguished by potent power, personality, and meticulously crafted painting style of the artist whose technical brilliance is outstanding. It is no wonder that artworks by Barkley L. Hendricks are included in permanent collections of such institutions as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Tate Modern in London. Besides, paintings by the American pioneer of black portraiture sometimes appear at the leading auctions of contemporary art. For example, last year, Sotheby’s New York sold several Hendricks’ works for millions of dollars each. These include “Brenda P” ($2.175 million), “Dancer” ($2.055 million), and “North Philly Niggah (William Corbett),” which was sold for $1.935 million.

Barkley L. Hendricks – A Pioneer of Black Portraiture

Barkley L. Hendricks – A Pioneer of Black Portraiture

Barkley L. Hendricks – A Pioneer of Black Portraiture

Photo credit: Sotheby’s/sothebys.com